Toro Y Moi Live in Montreal

 Chaz Bear aka Toro Y Moi packed the Corona Theatre alongside his band and Channel Tres


Walking towards the Griffintown venue, I could not help but wonder what type of crowd was going to show up. The fanbase of most artist’s are pretty predictable, as they tend to play one type of genre that attracts one specific group of people. I figured Toro’s fan base would be made entirely of millennial hipsters (including myself), but I was pleasantly surprised to see a varied audience fill the Corona Theatre.  I should have known better, after all, no one fits the description of “genreless” artist more than Toro. None of the many albums in his discography actually sound the same. Toro Y Moi is not the type of artist you can put in a box, and last night proved that this makes for an unpredictable set that keeps people guessing what the next song is going to be. 

Chaz’s timid introverted character was in full effect during his performance. The South Carolina native would often sign into the mic with his eyes closed. His overall performance gave off a “garage band” energy. I felt like I was witnessing an intimate behind the scenes rehearsal version of the show. Chaz rarely stopped the music to do crowd work, which, if you happen to be a fan, is probably not what you expected to see anyway. 

What Toro lacked in crowd interaction, he made up for with a non-stop plethora of music. Some of the songs he performed dated back to his earliest work which is a testament to the timelessness of his sound. 

Any fan of Toro y Moi would tell you they prefer one album over another given that they all  vary to a large degree, yet everyone in the crowd seemed to enjoy every style played on stage. The way the songs blended together were so seamless, you would have thought they were all on the same album. Toro went from playing his guitar, to working the synth, to focusing on vocals throughout the entire set and made it seem effortless. 

Of course, a large part of the fun had last night was due to the highly entertaining Channel Tres, an up and coming artist from California with one of the most unique takes on live performances I’ve seen in a long time. Tres, alongside his dancers took over the stage and had people fully invested to his deep house beats, catchy “no filler” lyrics, and tight choreography. Yes, I said choreography, as in he rapped and danced at the same time. It was as cool as it sounds. 

Toro Y Moi and Channel Tress will be performing three more shows before the end of the tour. Be sure to check for them as they head to Boston and New York

Akeem Johnson is the co-host of The Kitchen, a show that blends everything from trap music to afrobeat. It plays every Wednesday at 9:00 p.m EST.